Manfred: MLB open to more aggressively managing change

By Ronald Blum - AP Baseball Writer

MIAMI (AP) — With home runs, strikeouts and game time at record levels, Commissioner Rob Manfred says baseball is open to making changes in how the game is played on the field.

Speaking Tuesday to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, Manfred says there is a “dramatically increased tolerance for strikeouts by offensive players.” He adds that there’s “much, much more emphasis on the home run as the principal offensive tool in the game. There’s a dramatic increase in the use of relief pitchers.”

Major League Baseball proposed several initiatives last offseason, including a 20-second pitch clock, limits on mound visits by catchers and raising the bottom of the strike zone. The only change was to allow intentional walks to be signaled without throwing pitches.

Manfred says: “I’m certainly open to the idea that we should take a more aggressive posture.

MLB has the right to unilaterally impose for 2018 the proposals made last offseason that were not accepted. Union head Tony Clark says “our guys are engaged in the dialogue.”

By Ronald Blum

AP Baseball Writer